Amanda Latham. 17.52.52

Mothers’ Day calls for me to spend this week’s 52 Women post thinking about my mum. In a year of recognising women who inspire me and have impact, there would always be a point where I considered my mum within that cohort.

She’s pretty great and I know she’ll read this post as she’s a hawk on Facebook and can spot anything…

  1. You took me to my first gig. It was Fame Academy Live when I was 12. David Sneddon, Sinead Quinn and Lemar Obika in the flesh. (I had to Google that because they’ve dropped from my memory and public consciousness). I’m sorry I fell asleep after 30 minutes. It seems that watching the Fame graduates was a little too exhilarating for me.
  2. Then you took me to watch Britney Spears’ Onyx Tour in 2004 at the Wembley Arena. I know that was hard for you because it was pretty shit. But at 13, I had a great time watching her lip-syncing from a swing telling her fans how much she loved us. I believed her. I felt like Britney Bitch really saw me. I really appreciate you indulging me on this one.
  3. That time we saw Robbie Williams together and you jumped the queue with me and we ended up right near the front, close enough for me to yell ‘I Love You’ to RW and for him to grimace back and say ‘thanks.’
  4. That I got to see The National with you.
  5. That you’ve pretty much had The National on repeat on your playlist for ten years.
  6. When I broke up with my first boyfriend and then went and saw Red Hot Chilli Peppers with him, but you were there as well and gave me an escape route and a lap to cry on.
  7. You wrote me a doctor’s note so I could leave school early to go watch the Foo Fighters when I was 15.
  8. You taught me that if you need a day off then that’s ok.
  9. When Friends is on and you clap at the same point in the credits with me.
  10. That time when the photographs for your sister’s wedding didn’t turn out so good but luckily we’d filmed the whole thing on our camera so she knew that at least the memory had been captured somewhere. But when you went to look at the video, it lasted about 4 seconds until footage of our cats Ziggy and Ishka walked into the frame and we were welcome by my voices. I raced up to the bathroom and locked the door so quickly. You never yelled.
  11. I’ve seen the photographs of all the cakes you made me when I was young that were replicas of my stuffed toys and they were amazing.
  12. When I was in primary school and you were studying to get your teachers degree and we had a nanny and I made you feel guilty about not being there to walk me home and you never told me how spoilt that was even though I definitely was.
  13. That time I forgot to put underwear on when I was in primary school and you raced home and were back with knickers within 15 minutes whilst I was stalking the playground refusing to go inside.
  14. When I got really scared in the night you let me sleep in your room.
  15. When you and dad used to go out for dinner when Greg and I were young and you made us special dinner plates and let us watch movies in your bed and get grapes and pickle all over your sheets.
  16. When I started my second high school in England and was really nervous and ate my lunch in the bathroom cubicle and texted you to say that it was scary, you texted straight back and made me feel better.
  17. When I first got my period at your mum’s house and you sorted it for me by asking her for a pad that I could use and I walked around like Tommy from the Rugrats for the better half of a day.
  18. When I had to use a tampon for the first time when we were on holiday in the Great Barrier Reef and you asked the nice ship lady if she had any and she handed me a super size and you coached me through that super moment. It was a whole new world.
  19. When Greg and I started a new school in Australia there was a puppy waiting for us when we came back on our first day.
  20. When she died six months later and we were all really sad. A month later you took me to a farm three hours away and we choose two new puppies together. They both sat on my lap on the ride back home.
  21. When it was my 16th birthday party and we had 50 people over at our house dressed up like characters from movies and you and dad sat calmly watching T.V whilst someone came into the kitchen and vomited all over the dishes in the sink, and on the lawn, and in the bathroom. And, although a little disturbed, you saw the funny side.
  22. You let dad take me to get my first tattoo on my 18th.
  23. And then when I came home with a butterfly/leopard/fairy thing on my lower back you just let it be.
  24. When it was my 21st birthday and you came to my house with a cake and balloons and a canvas bursting with photographs of my face. It is the single greatest and most traumatic present I’ve received.
  25. The time when I stayed out all night and vomited on a bus in the morning and came home so glum, but you made me a boiled egg and just said nice things to me.
  26. And that time I threw up in a taxi, which you cleaned.
  27. And then washed my hair.
  28. And then grounded me and we spent one day inside, you ironing and me watching ‘The Hole’, and then, you let me go out that evening.
  29. Because you always say ‘poor thing’ when I’m hungover and make me feel nicer than I deserve.
  30. I could come and talk to you about sex when I was a teenager and ask you any question and know that you would answer it.
  31. I never lied to you about where I was or who I was with because you just wanted to know to keep my safe but never prevented me from going.
  32. Because you taught me to drive and were always calm.
  33. Because you let me drop you off at school and take your car for the day when I was at school.
  34. Because when I picked you back up from your school, you used to blare ‘Cunts are still running the world’ by Jarvis Cocker right out the speakers even though your students, who hadn’t yet reached double digits, were in the playground.
  35. You were always really nice to my friends when they came over after school and I liked that.
  36. When I come and visit you there’s always soy milk in the fridge.
  37. You’ve had lots of scary accidents and carried on like a trooper. You make me feel less scared about being hit by a car, falling down the stairs, falling over in the shower, because you always manage to see the funny side.
  38. You were at every Parent/Teachers Evening.
  39. You text me with more emojis than my friends do.
  40. You ask my opinion on your outfit even though I never look up from my computer.
  41. If I ever make a meal at your house you ask me to recite the recipe in intricate detail, even though it’s probably just warmed up chickpeas.
  42. You kept a Mother’s Day card I made you when I was 16 which still has the confetti that I put in the envelope.
  43. You don’t mind that I make a mess of all your things all the time and wear all your clothes.
  44. You don’t make me feel bad when I’m grumpy, which is most of the time.
  45. Your dislike of chickens because they have dead eyes.
  46. You’re the only person I know who’s food order has remained the same for the entirety of the 21st century: Steak, chips and a vodka and diet coke.
  47. Your energy for housework is insatiable and I respect your commitment.
  48. You dance like the 80’s never ended.
  49. Because you always listened to my opinions and made it feel like our family was a team.
  50. You never pressured me into a career I didn’t want and made me feel like I had lots of time to figure that out.
  51. We’re very different. And sometimes it feels like you’re speaking Cantonese and I’m a mute, but I know you’ve always had my back and that’s a nice feeling.
  52. Honestly, I don’t think you’ve said a mean thing to me. Ever.  Thanks x




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